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From a total of 87 major accidents on California's gas pipelines in the previous 10 years, 43 had been related to pipelines owned by the Pacific Gas & Electric.
Longtime California Public Utilities Commission analyst Jacqueline Greig and her 13-year-old daughter Janessa died in the massive blast, which left a crater near their house and laid waste to dozens of 1960s-era homes in the hills overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Greig worked for an independent branch of the commission called the Division of Ratepayer Advocates, which is tasked with taking the side of the utility customer in matters before the commission. The division provides input to regulators in defense of consumers.
Some local residents have taken their objections to the California Public Utilities Commission, which has jurisdiction over utility programs. The commission has declined to order changes in the PG&E program, though Commissioner Nancy Ryan says she will form a task force this month to provide more oversight, noting the importance of public trust.
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), an independent consumer advocacy division of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), strongly opposes today’s CPUC three to two decision to approve a $1 billion Smart Meter program for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).